donderdag 15 september 2011

The happy gene that makes you a smiley, more positive person

If you are a cheery soul whose glass always seems half full, you can thank your parents.
You will probably be pleased to learn some of us are born optimists who have inherited a 'happy gene'.
The finding may help to explain why some people are always miserable while others tend to look on the bright side.

Professor Elaine Fox at Essex University showed more than 100 people positive and negative pictures on a computer screen, such as growling dogs and smiling children.
Using a revolutionary computer based therapy, she was able to measure which ones they concentrated on.
Volunteers supplied a sample of their DNA and they were tested to see which version they carried of the 5-HTTLPR gene which affects levels of the 'feel-good' chemical serotonin.

We inherit either two 'short' versions, a long and a short versions or two 'long' versions of the gene.
Those with two short versions of the gene managed to focus on the positive images and avoid getting upset by the negative ones, according to the research published online in Biological Psychiatry.
Strangely this 'short' version of the gene is the same one which has been associated with making people feel anxious and depressed and it suggests these people have a'very emotional' response to their environment.
Professor Fox said: 'When times are really good, it is those with the highly reactive short genotype who really benefit.

'They were very response to positive images which suggests they will thrive in a supportive environment, but previous research shows they can also go under, and will be particularly devastated by a traumatic experience.
'It suggests these people are very susceptible to emotional aspects of their environment. Those with the long version are less reactive which means that they often fare best in fairly benign conditions but they perhaps would not gain as much from a good experience.'
The researchers described the finding as a mechanism which seems to explain our levels of resillience to life's general stress.
The results could be used to determine appropriate therapy for people recovering from traumatic situations.
Professor Fox added: 'If a person's genotype is identified, the correct therapy can make all the difference to recovery.'

Bron: Daily Mail online
Last updated at 2:41 AM on 10th September 2011

zondag 11 september 2011

Here are 14 Success Strategies for Highly Sensitive People!

1. Accept your sensitivity.
Your sensitivity is a gift. I know it doesn’t always feel like it. But it is. I spent more than half of my life denying that I was a highly sensitive. Until you acknowledge and say “yes” to your sensitivity you cannot begin to learn the tools that will help you leverage that sensitivity into a positive benefit.

2. Choose to empower your sensitivity rather than minimize it.
It has taken me many years to get to the place where I can truly claim my sensitivity and use it as a powerful tool on my journey of self-discovery and deliberate creation. As a Highly Sensitive Person in an often over stimulating world, dampening your sensitivity sometimes seems like the best solution. And while that may be helpful, and even necessary, at first, ultimately you want to empower your sensitivity and turn it into a powerful ally in the creation of a truly brilliant life.

3. Spend time with other sensitive people.
It is very easy to get caught up in the stress and overload of our frenetic, chaotic world. Sometimes it seems as if there is no one else as sensitive as you. And from that thought it’s a short slide down the slippery slope into feeling like you are crazy or weird or strange. So find some other folks who are highly sensitive and create a support group where you can go for encouragement and to remind each other that you are not alone and that you are not crazy. One important note on this: This group is not a complain and whine group! The point is not to compare notes on how horrible and insensitive the rest of the world is. You connect with other Highly Sensitive People in order to know that you are not alone and discuss ways to leverage your sensitivity to create positive changes in your lives!

4. Hang out with successful, not-so-sensitive people.
I know this seems like a contradiction of the last one. But I have seen it happen (in myself and others) where a sensitive person basically says “screw you” to the rest of the world and all of the less sensitive people and finds someplace to curl up in a little ball and hide. While this can certainly be a beneficial and sometimes necessary short-term strategy, it’s not an effective long-term solution. Those of us who are highly sensitive can learn a lot from people who are not sensitive. So find some not-so-sensitive people who are successful and begin hanging out with them. Observe them. Learn from them. Watch how they move through the world. Not so that you can dampen your sensitivity but so that you might learn how to bring your sensitivity into the world in a balanced manner.

5. Start a regular practice of “mindful exercise.”
Exercise is important for everyone. But especially so for Highly Sensitive People. Moving your body helps to get any environmental, emotional and energetic toxins out of your system. While any type of exercise is beneficial, workouts that incorporate your mind, body and spirit can be especially helpful. Try things like Yoga, Tai Chi, Akido. and Pilates. Dancing and rock-climbing can also be great opportunities for the body, mind and spirit to move. The bottom line is to find a form of exercise that touches YOUR body, mind and spirit.

6. Find HSP role models, sensitive people who have leveraged their sensitivity to create a great life.
Do you know any Highly Sensitive People who have learned to not only survive in this world, but thrive in it? What lessons can learn from them? What life strategies can you emulate? If you can’t find role models in your own life, look in the wider world. What teachers, authors, artists, and entrepreneurs (yes there are successful AND highly sensitive entrepreneurs) can you find? Once you find them, again look for lessons and strategies that they are using to leverage their sensitivity into success.

7. Gently push yourself beyond the level of your sensitivity.
Your sensitivity is a gift and strength. But in order for this gift to be of any value to you and to the world, you must learn how to put it into use. That means you have to stretch yourself and bring your sensitivity with you into places and situations where it feels uncomfortable. Just as you build muscle mass through resistance, you increase your ability to bring your sensitivity into the world by practicing and exercising.

8. Know your limits.
Don’t push yourself so far that you blow a fuse! Become aware of the internal signals that let you know you are reaching maximum capacity. And when you notice them back off. You want to push yourself and strengthen your sensitivity, but not to the point where it causes you to blow a fuse!

9. Set up a consistent self-care routine.
As a sensitive person you need more self care than others. Don’t compare yourself to less sensitive people. Get clear on your needs and take steps to ensure that those needs are met. If you need a massage every week, get one. If you need to take a bath with sea salts every night, do it. Your sensitivity is of no use if you are not able to function in the world!

10. Connect with nature as often as possible.
If there is one consistent theme I have found among sensitive people it is the restorative capacity of nature. Even if you live in a city get outside every day. Connect with a tree. If you don’t want to look strange, pretend you’re leaning up against it waiting for some. But while you’re there, feel the restorative, grounding energy flowing through that tree.

11. Create safe, sanctuary spaces.
It is very important for sensitive people to have safe spaces to go to when the world gets overwhelming. You need to know that no matter what is happening in the wider world, that you have a safe space, a sanctuary to which you can return and restore yourself. Ideally, your home is your sanctuary. If it’s not, start by taking a small space and turning it into a safe, private, sanctuary where you can go when you need quiet and solitude.

12. Limit your exposure to news.
In some ways, this one suggestion may be the easiest and most powerful success strategy for Highly Sensitive People. And yet, I find it amazing how often this suggestion triggers people. They feel that if they don’t read the newspaper they’ll be missing out on important information. My response is that if reading the newspaper makes you feel like crap what good does that information do for anyone. I would much rather see you feeling great and doing positive things in the world, than see you feeling depressed and hopeless because you’re reading too much news.

13. Explore energetic healing modalities.
My training at the Academy of Intuition Medicine has been the most powerful work in my quest to empower and balance my sensitive nature. Try acupuncture, homeopathy, reiki, energy medicine, flower essences and other forms of energetic healing. When you find one that works, schedule regular sessions.

14. Learn how to create positive energetic boundaries.
There are wonderful resources that can teach you to setup positive energetic boundaries. Start with my course, The Energetics of Attraction and explore Energy Medicine University (the distance learning wing of the Academy of Intuition Medicine). Read books by Caroline Myss, Donna Eden, and others. Once you venture into this world you will be amazed at how easily you are led to the information and teachers you need to get learn how to thrive in this world!

If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, I encourage you to begin using some of these strategies. Look through the list and pick one or two of these that resonate with you and begin integrating them into your daily life. You may be surprised at how quickly and dramatically your life can change when you actively employ success strategies specifically designed for Highly Sensitive People.

Please leave a comment below and let us know which of these strategies you already use and what other techniques you use as a sensitive person in this world.

And if you want more information, inspiration and techniques to help you thrive in this world as an empowered sensitive person, I encourage you to read my new report: The Energetics of Attraction: Understanding and Applying the Harmonics of Human Awareness and to Compose The Life You Desire.


zaterdag 3 september 2011


Who are the children, really? Many of our ideas about children are rooted in the same kind of fear and beliefs that form the artificial division between people of different races, gender and religions...the belief that those different from us, are less than, or in some way, so different, that we tend to marginalize, dismiss and patronize them, if not out loud, then in our thoughts. These attitudes are not naturally occurring in children or us. They are taught.

What would it take to step out of our adult/parent roles and beliefs, to see clearly who children are behind their size, age and appearing to be, disturbing behaviors? We were children once. We noticed how the adults in our lives knew little about who we were, what we knew or how we felt. . It wasn’t that they couldn’t, they just didn’t know how. They too, were following rules and beliefs they had learned.

If we were fortunate, we had at least one adult in our childhood that recognized who we were completely: able to connect with us beneath our size and age. We can be that for all the children we know and live with now

It is ONLY fair and just that children be seen as whole, exquisitely sensitive, wise, highly perceptive human beings that are no less, nor more than the bigger, older people in this world. As we free the children from our fears, we free ourselves. . 

Source: - Bruce Scott

donderdag 1 september 2011

Being Highly Sensitive and Creative

By Douglas Eby


“Highly sensitive people are all creative by definition.”

Elaine Aron, PhD adds that it is “because we process things so thoroughly and notice so many subtleties and emotional meanings that we can easily put two unusual things together.”

Sensory sensitivity also comes into play in many creative endeavors. When Therese Borchard of Beliefnet interviewed me (her Huffington Post column has the title 5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive), one of the “gifts” I mentioned is the richness of sensory detail that life provides.

The subtle shades of texture in clothing, and foods when cooking, the sounds of music or even traffic or people talking, fragrances and colors of nature – all of these may be more intense for highly sensitive people.

(Of course, people are not simply “sensitive” or “not sensitive” – like other qualities and traits, it’s a matter of degree.)

Years ago, I took a color discrimination test to work as a photographic technician, making color prints. The manager said I’d scored better, with more subtle distinctions between hues in the test charts, than anyone he had evaluated.

That kind of response to color makes visual experience rich and exciting, and can help artists and designers be even more excellent.

See more in my post Gifts and challenges of being highly sensitive.

In her article Highly Sensitive Persons – High Sensitivity and Creative Ability, psychologist Susan Meindl, MA writes, “A temperamental connection has been observed between between high Sensitivity and creativity. Individuals may manifest extreme sensitivity to stimulation, or psychic over-excitabilities, in any of five areas: intellectual, psychomotor, imaginational, emotional, or sensual.”
(This is a reference to the work of Kazimierz Dabrowski, MD, PhD – see my information page Dabrowski / advanced development.)

She says the three areas of emotional, intellectual, and imaginational excitability “have been theorized to be most indicative of developmental potential and creative expression.” But, she notes, “Sometimes over-excitability can cause difficulties.”

That is something that Elaine Aron and many others address in their work.

For example Lisa A. Riley, LMFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist) writes:
Throughout my practice, I have encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses.
This characteristic does not discriminate between painter, actor, or musician—they all appear to have one thing in common: they experience the world differently than the average individual.
Creatives often feel and perceive more intensely, dramatically, and with a wildly vivid color palate to draw from, which can only be described as looking at the world through a much larger lens.
Without a substantial filtration system firmly in place to screen out most of the busy noise, these people tend to receive a far greater amount of stimuli directly into their psyches.
As a result, they frequently become more attuned to subtle details in their environment, to the people they deal with, and especially to their own internal process.
From her guest post on my Highly Sensitive site: Highly Sensitive Personality and Creativity.

Another therapist, Ane Axford, MS, LFMT, writes in her guest article Are you drowning in a sea of sensitivity? It’s time to walk on water about dealing with our high sensitivity:
I have often heard an analogy in the psychology field that creative geniuses and those who experience mental disorder are in the same water. The difference is that one is swimming and the other is drowning.
The initial quote is from my post: Elaine Aron on Creativity and Sensitivity.
The image is The Artist’s Hand – by The odd Note. I also use it for the cover of my short Kindle book Being Highly Sensitive and Creative.
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